Friday, July 31, 2015

June 29, 2015 - Indianapolis, IN to Mulberry Grove, IL

It was really raining when we were getting ready to go to the service department at Camping World.  They said they were booked 6 weeks out and cannot take our Lil’ Home (LH) in to check.  While there we browsed the store to see if there was anything we need for the LH.  There were few, but we were not ready to buy them just yet.

We went back to Speedco and asked if they could order air filter. “No, we don’t stock it, therefore we cannot order it”, the manager said.  He suggested us to go to Stoops Truck Service on the other side of S. Harding Road. 

After providing the VIN # for our Lil' Home (LH) to the manager at Stopps he was not able to locate the part #, would not take our LH in for service. Another blow… We realized that it is not going to be an easy task of having LH serviced on anywhere.

We decided that we were going to leave Indianapolis now and go straight to St. Louis via I-70.  

The rain was on/off along the route.  As soon as Erwin turned on the wipers the rain would stop raining.  The second he turned the wipers off it would rain again.  A constant battle with the clouds that could not make up its mind!  The sun was trying to peek out a couple times, but the clouds would not let it shine through.  

Edith goggled for truck or RV repair shop in St. Louis, found one, texted Saint Louis RV shop. They replied that there is an opening for us on Tuesday, July 7th.  "Fine with us”, we texted back.  This would mean going back to St. Louis after visiting Erwin’s relatives in Columbia, MO this week.

Heavy construction was being done on the bridge in Terra Haute, IN (4 miles from IL/IN border line)

We arrived IL state line at 1:05 pm. We took Exit 147 (IL 1) from I-70, turned left, a couple miles later turned right to get on US 40 to go to the town of Martinsville, IL to check out the world’s largest horseshoe at the fairgrounds.

Does Edith look like she has horns growing out of her head?

We went north on N York St to get back on US 40 to go to Casey, IL. While we were on way Edith spotted a rustic water tower with “Martinsville" on it.

Back on US 40 West, then turned left on IL 49 to check out a couple roadside attractions in Casey, IL.  The world's largest wind chime that stands 55' high is in this town. There are several largest sculptures around and they were working on few more when we visit the woodworking shop.

The World's Longest Pitchfork (still in progress)

Before reaching Mulberry Grove to spend the night at a campground we shopped at Martin's grocery store in Effingham, IL. It was a very nice store.

"Cross at the Crossroads" - World's Largest Cross
It is by Highways 57 and 70 in Effingham, IL
It has been a long long time since we saw Stuckeys store. It was in Altamonte, IL.  In the past we would stop at Stuckeys just to get pecan log rolls.  From 1930's to 1970's it was a very popular convenience store, but dwindled after it was purchased by a large corporation.  It is starting to come back in some states.  No, we did not stop there to get pecan log rolls.  Maybe we should have....

We checked into Timber Trails Campground in Mulberry Grove, IL.  After setting up our LH Erwin turned the air conditioning on and the electricity tripped.  Erwin went outside to reset the power, but found that there was no reset button or switch and he had to walk over to the office to report the problem.  We had to wait before the manager went to the service center to reset the power.

Our supper
After supper we went out for a walk around the campground. It was a peaceful night.  

Good Night!

June 28, 2015 - Bremen, IN to Indianapolis, IN

Finally! A lovely morning to wake up to.  Edith was busy making copies of wedding pictures from one memory card to another, so she can give it to Eric and Lori before we leave for Indianpolis. They had planned on stopping by to visit with us this morning to take a look at our Lil' Home (LH).

While waiting for Eric and Lori we were entertained by a momma bird feeding her baby on the picnic table that was right by our LH. It lasted for about 10 minutes.  

Later on in the morning Eric texted that he and Lori could not come because they realized that they need to leave early to drop their daughter off at a camp and it would take much longer than they thought.

Because it rained the other day we did not know there was a water puddle on one of the slideout awnings. We could not figure out why the slideout would not close properly.  Erwin had to get up on the roof, found there was a water puddle sitting in the middle of the awning.  He had to clear the water out.  We finally got the awning closed.  We were worried a bit because we thought it might be the problem with the mechanism.  Now we know what to do next time it rains.  A cordless air blower will do the trick - it is on our shopping list ;-)

We finally left the campground around noontime, got on State Route (SR) 6, then SR 19 South.

Pla-Mor Campground in Bremen, IN
SR19 South road was very rough and rocky. We could see the worn path caused by the horse shoes from the Amish horses.  We got on ST 30, then IN 15 South to go to Warsaw, IN.

See the water puddle (lake!) on the field on the left side
Farmers will not be too happy about that :-(

We did not prepare breakfast while staying at the campground this morning, so we stopped at Omega's Family Restaurant for late breakfast.  It is a popular dining place in this area (IN 15 & IN 114). Erwin had country fried steak with hash browns and fried egg and Edith had crepes with blackberries and whipped cream.  

After breakfast we continued driving on IN 15 until we got to US 35 South to go to Gas City, IN. It was a last minute decision to check out Gas City.  

All street signs in Gas City, IN are on mini oil derricks
Garfield statue near the community center
What is the significance of it?
No idea!
Gas City, IN water tower
From Gas City we went on I-65 South, then exited at #222 to get on 36 West/67 South to go to Fortville, IN.  There is one attraction that Edith wanted to see and get a picture of a a pink elephant drinking martini.  It stands in front of Elite Beverages, next to Dairy Queen.

In Lawrence, IN we got fuel fill-up at Murphy USA ($2.51 g for diesel)

In Indianapolis, IN we went to Speedco on South Harding Street to see if they can do oil change on our LH.  We were there around 6 pm and were surprised the shop was still open. We had planned on boondocking by the shop and go in the next morning.  But the store did not close until 8 pm they were able to take our LH in right away.  The mechanics had a puzzling time trying to figure out where the oil filters were (there are two of them), but managed to get things done. The service was quick and prompt and it took about an hour.  The air filter needed to be replaced, but because they do not stock what we needed they cannot order the part for us.  While they were under the LH chassis draining the oil they noticed that the bolt on the stabilizer bar on driver’s side was broken.  They suggested us to go to Camping World to see if they can fix it.  After the bill was paid for we decided to go to Greenwood Super Walmart on N. Emerson St. for overnight parking.

LH getting ready to go in the bay
In the bay for service
The mechanics brainstorming to figure
out what to do

Access panel to get to the air filter
The manager checking for part # on the air filter
Checking oil level
Imagine the look on our faces when we drove into Walmart parking lot and there were “No Overnight Parking for Trucks” signs posted everywhere.  Since our LH is not a truck we thought it does not apply to us and we could stay overnight.  Erwin did not feel right about it and decided to go in the store to check with the manager.  “No, you are not allowed to park here” were the words Erwin did not want to hear.  Feeling dejected he walked back to the LH.  However, we stayed a while to fix supper because it was past 7:30 and we were really hungry.

After supper we left and went to Camping World. There was one vacant camping spot left so we dry camped for the night.

We were already very tired from the stress and anxiety and were already for bed around 8 pm.  Luckily for us, the weather was pleasant and we did not need to turn the air conditioning on. It was a very comfortable night.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

June 27, 2015 - Bremen, IN & Nappanee, IN

It rained all night long while we dozed away. There were lots of water puddles around the campground. Where we were there was not, so we were lucky.  

We stopped at Burlington Bike Shop off 2b Road in Nappanee, IN to pick up Edith's bicycle that was left there yesterday.  The labor rate was only $20!  The bicycle needed a new chain, brackets for the fenders, and gear bearings.  He got the hand brakes adjusted.  After getting information from the fellow on how to care for the gear chain we decided to buy a can of Luboil for future uses.

After leaving the bicycle shop we stayed on 2b going west to the town of Bremen, then right on Dogwood Road to 6, left on SR 106. We wanted to see what the town of Bremen was like.  

Erwin shopped at Woodie's Supermarket in Bremen, IN to get some fruits for his breakfast.  He loves having sliced banana, blackberries and sliced strawberries in his cereals.

Edith spotted a water tower with "Bremen" on it and the best view to take a picture of it is from the cemetery lot. Of course, she checked out the cemetery afterwards, but there were no interesting tombstones or monuments.

We went back to the campground, had lunch, rested a while.  Weather was still unfavorable and it started to feel chilly inside the Lil' Home.

Chillin' and reading a book
before attending the wedding

The wedding was at 5:30 pm, but Edith wanted to be at the Round Barn around 4:45 pm to start shooting pictures of the preparation on the stage.  It was still too early to get ready for the wedding and there were a couple hours left, so Edith spent time googling on sites for future destinations after we leave IN.

We got dressed for the wedding, drove to Amish Acres in Nappanee, IN.  The clouds looked very threatening.  

Several of Lori and Eric's friends were already in the barn and helped decorate the stage.

The Round Barn where the wedding is held in
Getting ready to attend the wedding

Pastor Andrew reviewing notes with Josh, one of the interpreters
Eric and his groomsmen relaxing in the balcony 
Here is the groom!
Eric is all excited about getting married!

Pastor Andrew and Eric on way to the stage

Here comes the bride
Lori & Matthew

Eric's "I do" vow
Lori's "I do" vow
Zachary, the ring bearer 
Judd trying to take off his wedding ring
Someone forgot to bring in Eric's wedding ring
Sand Unity

Jarrell Robinson signing a song while Judd looked on
James Yevich signing his poem in American Sign Language 
Lori, Andrew (the deaf pastor) & Eric
We are not sure what they were looking for...

Sealed with a kiss
The sky darkened more after the wedding was over
The wedding reception 
Instead of signing names on the guest book they signed
on the frame. Cool idea!
John & Barbara 
Jack & Katie
Javier & Vicki
James & Michelle 
Don & Tammie
James & Kayli
Judd, Erika & Reba
Jazlynn & Zachary
Here come the bride and the groom! 
Eric & Lori hip bumping after being introduced to the guests
Josh, a very close friend of the Woomers
dancing with Jazlynn
Lori's sister and maid of honor, Reba
Eric's best man, Judd toasting
Lori's brother and Eric's groomsman, James toasting
Their first dance after the wedding

Lori dancing with her cousin, Tammie
Just wanted to kiss
 Andrew and Cindy Lower                               Katie Pierce and Thomas Rios

Lori's son Zachary
Western style photo
Hey, Erwin wore shoes and white socks :-(  
Deaf photographers taking a break from shooting
Edith and Kevin 
Haggenjos, the wedding photographer from Chicago, IL
In good mood! 
Erwin, Edith, Lori & Eric
The fun continued all night long. We went home early because we were two tired "old" folks.  The wedding was very lovely and we enjoyed every minute of it. The foods were delicious, the cake, too.  There were lots of guests dancing on the floor shaking off the calories.  

All in all, it was a very beautiful day.

Miles driven:
LH - 0
Jeep - 35